The FFI GIIN List Update (Lists from June 1, 2014 through June 1, 2015)

On 1 June 2015 the IRS published its thirteenth FATCA GIIN list of “approved FFIs” (a list of the financial firms that have registered on the IRS FATCA portal).  Total approved FFIs reached 165,461, and increase of only 2,851 during the month of May.  This FATCA registration trend since January has been described as lethargic, with April’s increase just 2,600 additional firms joining, 3,734 additional during March, and 2,479 in February.  But when compared to what was forecast by the IRS, by industry, and by the UK, it’s a troubling low figure. Read More

In a recent blog entitled, “FATCA GIIN January 2015 FFI Registration Analysis … by the numbers,” Professor William Byrnes provides a brilliant commentary on the IRS’s publication of its first FATCA GIIN list of the new year (published on New Years Day!). The FATCA GIIN list is a list of “approved FFIs (Foreign Financial Institutions)” that have registered on the IRS FATCA portal by December 23, 2014.

For those who have never heard of a “GIIN” and who may have initially confused it with a certain type of drink that mixes exceptionally well with tonic, GIIN stands for “Global Intermediary Identification Number.” A Foreign Financial Institution (FFI) that registers on the “FATCA Registration Website,” upon approval, receives a Global Intermediary Identification Number (GIIN) from the IRS (unless the FFI is treated as a Limited FFI). The GIIN is a Read More

The Internal Revenue Service has updated Publication 5118 – Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) User Guide (Rev. December 2013) to reflect changes since its initial publication in the summer of 2013.

The User Guide is over 100 pages and provides instructions for completing the registration process online, including the information required, how registration will vary depending on the type of financial institution, and step-by-step guidance for answering each question.

1. The User Guide provides a list of entities that are eligible to register, on behalf of themselves and their branches, and the purposes of such registration (page 8). Read More

Foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and US withholding agents (USWAs) have presented compliance concerns to Treasury and the IRS about the status of FFIs in jurisdictions that are known to be in an advanced stage of concluding an IGA, but have not yet signed such agreement.  Treasury has signed IGAs with 26 jurisdictions and has reached agreements in substance or is in advanced discussions with many others.

Treasury and the IRS have on April 2, 2014 issued Announcement 2014-17 to provide some level of comfort to FFIs in such jurisdictions that already have reached an IGA in substance and to USWAs paying agents.

Moreover, the IRS has also granted an extension of 10 (ten) days, previously April 25 but Read More

The Internal Revenue Service has just issued Revenue Procedure 2014-10 which provides guidance to foreign financial institutions (FFIs) entering into an FFI agreement with the IRS for FATCA (Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act) purposes. The final version of the FFI agreement is set forth in meticulous detail in the Revenue Procedure. The final FFI agreement contained in the Revenue Procedure contains a number of changes to provisions of the draft FFI agreement set out in an earlier IRS Notice (Notice 2013-69 2013-46 I.R.B. 503), on October 29, 2013.

Who Should Sign the FFI Agreement?

FFIs signing the FFI agreement will be treated as “participating FFIs”. Generally, these are Read More

Foreign Financial Institutions are not getting the best of Christmas presents this year. Instead of getting sugar plums in their stockings, they are getting FATCA and GIIN!

By brief background, under the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, (FATCA), foreign financial institutions (FFIs) and non-financial foreign entities (NFFEs) must agree to verification and due diligence procedures – meaning they must be on the look-out for customers, owners or beneficiaries evidencing any “US indicia”. They must identify and report directly to the United States Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or their own government via an intergovernmental agreement (IGA), information on US account holders/owners. They must look through their customers and counterparties’ ownership to find “substantial United States owners” (generally, more than 10 percent ownership). Read More

Fatca Flag[1]We posted on Wednesday, July 10, 2013 “FACTA Registration is Set To Begin in July!” which discusses that starting on July 15, 2013, the United States is scheduled to begin registering foreign financial firms with U.S. customers for a new anti-tax evasion law know as FATCA. Today the IRS issued Notice 2013-43, which provides Six-Month Extension for FATCA Withholding!  This notice provides a six-month extension for when withholding will begin (i.e., payments after June 30, 2014) and for implementing new account opening procedures as well as related requirements to comply with FATCA.

In the preamble to the final regulations, Treasury and the Internal Revenue Service announced their intent to create a FATCA registration website, which would serve as the primary way for FFIs to interact with the IRS to complete the required registration, agreements, and certifications. The preamble stated that the FATCA registration website would be accessible to FFIs no later than July 15, 2013.

After approval of its registration, each PFFI and registered deemed-compliant FFI would be assigned a global intermediary identification number (GIIN), which would be used both for reporting purposes and to identify the FFI’s status to withholding agents. The preamble provided that the IRS would electronically post the first list of PFFIs and registered deemed-compliant FFIs (IRS FFI List) on December 2, 2013, and would update the list on a monthly basis. To ensure inclusion on the December 2013 IRS FFI List, FFIs would need to register by October 25, 2013.   Read More